GUWAHATI: Protestors in Manipur, miffed with the Centre for not disclosing the contents of its agreement with major rebel group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM), will sit with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Monday.
The office of Manipur Chief Minister said Shah had given an appointment to the leaders of Manipur’s civil society organisations at 10 pm on Monday to discuss “the prevailing situation in the state in relation to the peace talks between Government of India and NSCN-IM”.
Following the offer of talks, the protesting Co-ordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) withdrew its decision to boycott the week-long Sangai Festival which got underway on Sunday.
The COCOMI, however, said its protests were not over.
“We don’t know what could be the outcome of the meeting (with Shah). So, for now, there is no decision to put on hold the protests,” COCOMI assistant coordinator Khuraijam Athouba told this newspaper.
Various organisations, which staged a series of protests under the banner of COCOMI, had twin demands – disclosure of the contents of Centre’s agreement with the NSCN-IM and a special session of Manipur Assembly to discuss the issue.
The office of Manipur CM in a statement said the state government had decided to convene the winter session of Assembly by December 20, 2019. The statement, however, did not speak of any possible discussion on the Naga issue in the House.
The Centre “wrapped up” its peace talks with the NSCN-IM on October 31 after it had ostensibly reached an understanding on the rebels’ contentious demands of separate “Naga national flag” and Naga “yezabo” (constitution)”.
The Naga development, however, created unrest in Manipur’s Imphal Valley. The various civil society organisations there are wary of the NSCN-IM’s contentious demand for the creation of a unified Naga homeland, called “Greater Nagaland”, by integrating the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, besides Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, with Nagaland.
The protestors in Manipur have already made it clear that they would not tolerate disintegration of the state’s territory. In fact, they stand opposed to any administrative arrangement that will favour the state’s Naga population.